Friday, December 23, 2005

Twenty Leaky Buckets --- Part Three

Parts 1, 1.5, and 2 are found here, here, and here, respectively.

Does this pamphlet titled 20 Reasons to Abandon Christianity give any good reasons against historic Christianity as held by an Evangelial with a high view of scripture? So far, I've pointed out that the first five arguments in the pamphlet really have no logical or evidential connection with claims such as Jesus rose bodily from the dead, The gospels are historically reliable, etc. On the contrary, the five so-called arguments are nothing more than an inventory of the pamphleteer's lists of things he doesn't like about the behavior of various subsets of self-identified Christians. Since no argument is given as to why the pamphleteer's preferences and sensibilities have any sort of objective justification, nothing in the pamphlet takes hold of my conscience.

Let's return to the pamphleteer's arguments.


(vi) Christianity breeds authoritarianism.

Given that Christians claim to have the one true faith, to have a book that is the Word of God, and (in many cases) to receive guidance directly from God, they feel little or no compunction about using force and coercion to enforce "God’s Will" (which they, of course, interpret and understand). Given that they believe (or pretend) that they’re receiving orders from the Almighty (who would cast them into hell should they disobey), it’s little wonder that they feel no reluctance, and in fact are eager, to intrude into the most personal aspects of the lives of nonbelievers. This is most obvious today in the area of sex, with Christians attempting to deny women the right to abortion and to mandate near-useless abstinence-only sex "education" in the public schools. It’s also obvious in the area of education, with Christians attempting to force biology teachers to teach their creation myth (but not those of Hindus, Native Americans, et al.) in place of (or as being equally valid as) the very well established theory of evolution. But the authoritarian tendencies of Christianity reach much further than this.

Up until well into the 20th century in the United States and other Christian countries (notably Ireland), Christian churches pressured governments into passing laws forbidding the sale and distribution of birth control devices, and they also managed to enact laws forbidding even the description of birth control devices. This assault on free speech was part and parcel of Christianity’s shameful history of attempting to suppress "indecent" and "subversive" materials (and to throw their producers in jail or burn them alive). This anti-free speech stance of Christianity dates back centuries, with the cases of Galileo Galilei and Giordano Bruno (who was burnt alive) being good illustrations of it. Perhaps the most colorful example of this intrusive Christian tendency toward censorship is the Catholic Church’s Index of Prohibited Books, which dates from the 16th century and which was abandoned only in the latter part of the 20th century—not because the church recognized it as a crime against human freedom, but because it could no longer be enforced (not that it was ever systematically enforced—that was too big a job even for the Inquisition).

Christian authoritarianism extends, however, far beyond attempts to suppress free speech; it extends even to attempts to suppress freedom of belief. In the 15th century, under Ferdinand and Isabella at about the time of Columbus’s discovery of the New World, Spain’s Jews were ordered either to convert to Christianity or to flee the country; about half chose exile, while those who remained, the "Conversos," were favorite targets of the Inquisition. A few years later, Spain’s Muslims were forced to make a similar choice.

This Christian hatred of freedom of belief—and of individual freedom in general—extends to this day. Up until the late 19th century in England, atheists who had the temerity to openly advocate their beliefs were jailed. Even today in many parts of the United States laws still exist that forbid atheists from serving on juries or from holding public office. And it’s no mystery what the driving force is behind laws against victimless "crimes" such as nudity, sodomy, fornication, cohabitation, and prostitution.

If your nonintrusive beliefs or actions are not in accord with Christian "morality," you can bet that Christians will feel completely justified—not to mention righteous—in poking their noses (often in the form of state police agencies) into your private life.

(a) This is another this-is-what-I-don't-like-about-some-Christians sort of lecture.

(b) Again, if the pamphleteer doesn't like the political actions of some Christians, just how is this an argument against Christianity?

(c) I'm not responsible for defending Rome here. If the pamphleteer has problems with what the Roman Catholic Church has allegedly done in the past, it isn't my prob.

(d) Given that a large segment of Christians, myself included, are libertarian in political view, or at least do not like Big Government, it is rather at odds with reality for the pamphleteer to charge that "This Christian hatred of freedom of belief—and of individual freedom in general—extends to this day" and "If your nonintrusive beliefs or actions are not in accord with Christian `morality,' you can bet that Christians will feel completely justified—not to mention righteous—in poking their noses (often in the form of state police agencies) into your private life."

We have another sweeping claim bereft of supporting data here.


The seventh argument is that Christianity is just plain "cruel":

Throughout its history, cruelty—both to self and others—has been one of the most prominent features of Christianity. From its very start, Christianity, with its bleak view of life, its emphasis upon sexual sin, and its almost impossible-to-meet demands for sexual "purity," encouraged guilt, penance, and self-torture. Today, this self-torture is primarily psychological, in the form of guilt arising from following (or denying, and thus obsessing over) one’s natural sexual desires. In earlier centuries, it was often physical. W.E.H. Lecky relates:

For about two centuries, the hideous maceration of the body was regarded as the highest proof of excellence. . . . The cleanliness of the body was regarded as a pollution of the soul, and the saints who were most admired had become one hideous mass of clotted filth. . . . But of all the evidences of the loathsome excesses to which this spirit was carried, the life of St. Simeon Stylites is probably the most remarkable. . . . He had bound a rope around him so that it became embedded in his flesh, which putrefied around it. A horrible stench, intolerable to the bystanders, exhaled from his body, and worms dropped from him whenever he moved, and they filled his bed. . . . For a whole year, we are told, St. Simeon stood upon one leg, the other being covered with hideous ulcers, while his biographer [St. Anthony] was commissioned to stand by his side, to pick up the worms that fell from his body, and to replace them in the sores, the saint saying to the worms, "Eat what God has given you." From every quarter pilgrims of every degree thronged to do him homage. A crowd of prelates followed him to the grave. A brilliant star is said to have shone miraculously over his pillar; the general voice of mankind pronounced him to be the highest model of a Christian saint; and several other anchorites [Christian hermits] imitated or emulated his penances.

Given that the Bible nowhere condemns torture and sometimes prescribes shockingly cruel penalties (such as burning alive), and that Christians so wholeheartedly approved of self-torture, it’s not surprising that they thought little of inflicting appallingly cruel treatment upon others. At the height of Christianity’s power and influence, hundreds of thousands of "witches" were brutally tortured and burned alive under the auspices of ecclesiastical witch finders, and the Inquisition visited similarly cruel treatment upon those accused of heresy. Henry Charles Lea records:

Two hundred wretches crowded the filthy gaol and it was requisite to forbid the rest of the Conversos [Jews intimidated into converting to Christianity] from leaving the city [Jaen, Spain] without a license. With Diego’s assistance [Diego de Algeciras, a petty criminal and kept perjurer] and the free use of torture, on both accused and witnesses, it was not difficult to obtain whatever evidence was desired. The notary of the tribunal, Antonio de Barcena, was especially successful in this. On one occasion, he locked a young girl of fifteen in a room, stripped her naked and scourged her until she consented to bear testimony against her mother. A prisoner was carried in a chair to the auto da fe with his feet burnt to the bone; he and his wife were burnt alive . . . The cells in which the unfortunates were confined in heavy chains were narrow, dark, humid, filthy and overrun with vermin, while their sequestrated property was squandered by the officials, so that they nearly starved in prison while their helpless children starved outside.

While the torture and murder of heretics and "witches" is now largely a thing of the past, Christians can still be remarkably cruel. One current example is provided by the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas. Its members picket the funerals of victims of AIDS and gay bashings, brandishing signs reading, "God Hates Fags," "AIDS Cures Fags," and "Thank God for AIDS." The pastor of this church reportedly once sent a "condolence" card to the bereaved mother of an AIDS victim, reading "Another Dead Fag."(2) Christians are also at the forefront of those advocating vicious, life-destroying penalties for those who commit victimless "crimes," as well as being at the forefront of those who support the death penalty and those who want to make prison conditions even more barbaric than they are now.

But this should not be surprising coming from Christians, members of a religion that teaches that eternal torture is not only justified, but that the "saved" will enjoy seeing the torture of others. As St. Thomas Aquinas put it:

In order that the happiness of the saints may be more delightful and that they may give to God more copious thanks for it, they are permitted perfectly to behold the sufferings of the damned . . . The saints will rejoice in the punishment of the damned.

Thus the vision of heaven of Christianity’s greatest theologian is a vision of the sadistic enjoyment of endless torture.

(a) Whereas some individual Christians or groups had a low view of sexual relations, the pamphleteer seems to conveniently forget about Paul's admonitions in 1 Corinthians about spouses rendering unto their spouses their sexual due.

(b) The sweeping claim that Christians self-torture themselves over sex is, like the other assertions, devoid of any support.

(c) The anecdote about St Simeon Stylites lends no argument against somebody like myself who looks dimly upon monasticism and ascetism.

(d) I'm not responsible for the Inquisition. And, given that I've burned no witches nor publicly called for their burning, I'm left wondering just what evidence against Christianity the pamphleteer is making. Again --- how does this relate to the evidence for the veracity of scripture and the supernatural historical claims of, say, the Resurrection?

(e) Again, fallacies (2) and (3) are prominently on display here. Somehow, the "God Hates Fags" group's behavior is mysteriously imputed to Christianity-in-general, no argument given.

(f) A pamphleteer picking on St Thomas is rather brazen. The pamphleteer never considers the possibility that if God is perfectly just, good, etc, then Christians cannot help but celebrate and bask in God's judgement, hence under the Christian framework Christians are not acting out of logical character. This of course will, in accordance with fallacy (1), infuriate the pamphleteer's sensibilities, but again, in a formally logical sense, why should I care about his sensibilities when they're proffered without any sort of argument.

(g) The pamphleteer seems unaware that non-Christians sometimes are against abortion. Some atheists support the death penalty.

This is getting tiring, but the show goes on:


The eight argument is that Christianity is anti-intellectual and anti-scientific.

(viii) For over a millennium Christianity arrested the development of science and scientific thinking. In Christendom, from the time of Augustine until the Renaissance, systematic investigation of the natural world was restricted to theological investigation—the interpretation of biblical passages, the gleaning of clues from the lives of the saints, etc.; there was no direct observation and interpretation of natural processes, because that was considered a useless pursuit, as all knowledge resided in scripture. The results of this are well known: scientific knowledge advanced hardly an inch in the over 1000 years from the rise of orthodox Christianity in the fourth century to the 1500s, and the populace was mired in the deepest squalor and ignorance, living in dire fear of the supernatural—believing in paranormal explanations for the most ordinary natural events. This ignorance had tragic results: it made the populace more than ready to accept witchcraft as an explanation for everything from illness to thunderstorms, and hundreds of thousands of women paid for that ignorance with their lives. One of the commonest charges against witches was that they had raised hailstorms or other weather disturbances to cause misfortune to their neighbors. In an era when supernatural explanations were readily accepted, such charges held weight—and countless innocent people died horrible deaths as a result. Another result was that the fearful populace remained very dependent upon Christianity and its clerical wise men for protection against the supernatural evils which they believed surrounded and constantly menaced them. For men and women of the Middle Ages, the walls veritably crawled with demons and witches; and their only protection from those evils was the church.

When scientific investigation into the natural world resumed in the Renaissance—after a 1000-year-plus hiatus—organized Christianity did everything it could to stamp it out. The cases of Copernicus and Galileo are particularly relevant here, because when the Catholic Church banned the Copernican theory (that the Earth revolves around the sun) and banned Galileo from teaching it, it did not consider the evidence for that theory: it was enough that it contradicted scripture. Given that the Copernican theory directly contradicted the Word of God, the Catholic hierarchy reasoned that it must be false. Protestants shared this view. John Calvin rhetorically asked, “Who will venture to place the authority of Copernicus above that of the Holy Spirit?”

More lately, the Catholic Church and the more liberal Protestant congregations have realized that fighting against science is a losing battle, and they’ve taken to claiming that there is no contradiction between science and religion. This is disingenuous at best. As long as Christian sects continue to claim as fact—without offering a shred of evidence beyond the anecdotal—that physically impossible events occurred (or are still occurring), the conflict between science and religion will remain. That many churchmen and many scientists seem content to let this conflict lie doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist.

Today, however, the conflict between religion and science is largely being played out in the area of public school biology education, with Christian fundamentalists demanding that their creation myth be taught in place of (or along with) the theory of evolution in the public schools. Their tactics rely heavily on public misunderstanding of science. They nitpick the fossil record for its gaps (hardly surprising given that we inhabit a geologically and meteorologically very active planet), while offering absurd interpretations of their own which we’re supposed to accept at face value—such as that dinosaur fossils were placed in the earth by Satan to confuse humankind, or that Noah took baby dinosaurs on the ark.

They also attempt to take advantage of public ignorance of the nature of scientific theories. In popular use, “theory” is employed as a synonym for “hypothesis,” “conjecture,” or even “wild guess,” that is, it signifies an idea with no special merit or backing. The use of the term in science is quite different. There, “theory” refers to a well-developed, logically consistent explanation of a phenomenon, and an explanation that is consistent with observed facts. This is very different than a wild guess. But fundamentalists deliberately confuse the two uses of the term in an attempt to make their religious myth appear as valid as a well-supported scientific theory.

They also attempt to confuse the issue by claiming that those nonspecialists who accept the theory of evolution have no more reason to do so than they have in accepting their religious creation myth, or even that those who accept evolution do so on “faith.” Again, this is more than a bit dishonest.

Thanks to scientific investigation, human knowledge has advanced to the point where no one can know more than a tiny fraction of the whole. Even the most knowledgeable scientists often know little beyond their specialty areas. But because of the structure of science, they (and everyone else) can feel reasonably secure in accepting the theories developed by scientists in other disciplines as the best possible current explanations of the areas of nature those disciplines cover. They (and we) can feel secure doing this because of the structure of science, and more particularly, because of the scientific method. That method basically consists of gathering as much information about a phenomenon (both in nature and in the laboratory) as possible, then developing explanations for it (hypotheses), and then testing the hypotheses to see how well they explain the observed facts, and whether or not any of those observed facts are inconsistent with the hypotheses. Those hypotheses that are inconsistent with observed facts are discarded or modified, while those that are consistent are retained, and those that survive repeated testing are often labeled “theories,” as in “the theory of relativity” and “the theory of evolution.”

This is the reason that nonspecialists are justified in accepting scientific theories outside their disciplines as the best current explanations of observed phenomena: those who developed the theories were following standard scientific practice and reasoning—and if they deviate from that, other scientists will quickly call them to task.

No matter how much fundamentalists might protest to the contrary, there is a world of difference between “faith” in scientific theories (produced using the scientific method, and subject to near-continual testing and scrutiny) and faith in the entirely unsupported myths recorded 3000 years ago by slave-holding goat herders.

Nearly 500 years ago Martin Luther, in his Table Talk, stated: “Reason is the greatest enemy that faith has.” The opposite is also true.

(a) Hmmm. I have a scientific doctorate and have written at a high technical level in mathematics, statistics, and philosophy. I happen to know several Christians who are professional philosophers in various areas. But we're the anti-intellectual ones. Uh-huh. Whatever. Thanks for playing.

(b) Again, I'm not responsible for the perceived crimes of Rome.

(c) I would say that a consistent Christian is anti-materialism and anti-naturalism, but not anti-science, unless "science" is a priori taken to be equivalent to applied methodological and/or ontological naturalism. But this rather begs the question, does it not?

(d) Those saliva-dripping bubbles you see coming out your screen are the pamphleteer's frothing here.

Again, where exactly is an argument against, say, the historicity of the gospels or the resurrection, etc, to be found here? Am I supposed to hold the argument up to a mirror and perhaps an actual argument can be read backwards off the reflection? Do I take every fifth letter and form an argument? Where is the argument? We have nothing but rhetoric here.

Basically, Christians are stupid. If you consider the Biblical texts authoritative, you're an ignoramus. The main piece of evidence for these claims is the use of pejorative adjectives by the pamphleteer. One would think that a champion of reason would realize that adjectives do not function as arguments, but one would seemingly be wrong...


The ninth argument deals with sex, namely, the claim is advanced that Christians have "an unhealthy, morbid, preoccupation with sex."

(ix) For centuries, Christianity has had an exceptionally unhealthy fixation on sex, to the exclusion of almost everything else (except power, money, and the infliction of cruelty). This stems from the numerous "thou shalt nots" relating to sex in the Bible. That the Ten Commandments contain a commandment forbidding the coveting of one’s neighbor’s wife, but do not even mention slavery, torture, or cruelty—which were abundantly common in the time the Commandments were written— speaks volumes about their writer’s preoccupation with sex (and women as property).

Today, judging from the pronouncements of many Christian leaders, one would think that "morality" consists solely of what one does in one’s bedroom. The Catholic Church is the prime example here, with its moral pronouncements rarely going beyond the matters of birth control and abortion (and with its moral emphasis seemingly entirely on those matters). Also note that the official Catholic view of sex—that it’s for the purpose of procreation only—reduces human sexual relations to those of brood animals. For more than a century the Catholic Church has also been the driving force behind efforts to prohibit access to birth control devices and information—to everyone, not just Catholics.

The Catholic Church, however, is far from alone in its sick obsession with sex. The current Christian hate campaign against homosexuals is another prominent manifestation of this perverse preoccupation. Even at this writing, condemnation of "sodomites" from church pulpits is still very, very common—with Christian clergymen wringing their hands as they piously proclaim that their words of hate have nothing to do with gay bashings and the murder of gays.

(a) Basically, we have fallacy (1) on display here by the pamphleteer. He doesn't like certain views on sex, and this counts as probative evidence against the truth of Christianity. No justification is offered for why his views on sex are the standard par excellence for evaluating a worldview.

(b) Somehow, the pamphleteer feels as if he can get inside the Biblical author's [or authors'] head [or heads] to find a "preoccupation with sex." No argument is given for why this psychologizing has any connection with reality.

(c) That Rome is against abortion weighs as evidence against the Christian faith exactly how? Argument, please. How exactly do Christians have a "sick obsession" with sex? Argument, please.

BTW --- I reject the premise that procreation has to be kept in mind in sexual matters between spouses. If you want to do it for fun, for pleasure, for intimacy, for communication, there is nothing wrong with that. [Just don't kill a fertilized egg.] So, even if Rome teaches what the pamphleteer claims, I'm not RC, so I don't need to answer for that.

(d) "The current Christian hate campaign against homosexuals." Loaded language is fun, but it can't do the work of an argument. Orthodox Christians look askance at homosexual behavior because scripture clearly presents a negative view of it. The pamphleteer can rend his garment and beat his breast over it, but whether one likes it or not, the question of just how this is evidence against Christianity arises.

(e) Oh, and don't you love the imputation the murderous acts of a few people against homosexuals to Christianity-in-general?

With fallacies (1)-(3) instantiated again, there seems to be nothing here except, as has become the custom, a laundry list of grievances by the pamphleteer. The evidence [or lack therof] for/against, say, the Resurrection, the historicity of the gospels, etc, is unchanged by the first nine arguments presented in the pamphlet.

Perhaps the tenth time will be the charm.


The pamphleteer continues his sex theme: Christianity produces sexual misery.

As a preliminary word [to break up the monotony], we again have fallacy (1) instantiated. Humans like sex. It feels good. It is generally fun.

If a worldview X says "go out and have sex 'til you drop" and worldview Y says "never, ever have sex" [these are extremes], does this fact by itself make X better ontologically supported than Y?

The answer is that X, taken by itself, is at best more consonant with human nature. Now as an ethical program, this might lead to preferring X to Y, everything else being equal. But Christianity, as is any worldview, is more than an ethical program. It is a collection of historical, metaphysical, and ethical theses all bound together.

I may not like being single [and hence celibate], but for me to complain that I'm not being fulfilled and then to use this as evidence against the empty tomb, the cross, the historicity of the gospels, etc, is to commit a non sequitur. Just what does this have to do with the evidence?

Likewise, if the Bible stated [somewhere] that Pedantic Protestants had license to cavort and frolic with any woman at any time, I might be a little less edgy at times, but again, for me to invoke this as positive evidence for Christianity is the same sort of non sequitur.

Basically: who says that a worldview has to conform to your urges? Argument, please.

Let's let our pamphleteer speak for himself:

In addition to the misery produced by authoritarian Christian intrusions into the sex lives of non-Christians, Christianity produces great misery among its own adherents through its insistence that sex (except the very narrow variety it sanctions) is evil, against God’s law. Christianity proscribes sex between unmarried people, sex outside of marriage, homosexual relations, bestiality, (3) and even “impure” sexual thoughts. Indulging in such things can and will, in the conventional Christian view, lead straight to hell.

Given that human beings are by nature highly sexual beings, and that their urges very often do not fit into the only officially sanctioned Christian form of sexuality (monogamous, heterosexual marriage), it’s inevitable that those who attempt to follow Christian “morality” in this area are often miserable, as their strongest urges run smack dab into the wall of religious belief. This is inevitable in Christian adolescents and unmarried young people in that the only “pure” way for them to behave is celibately—in the strict Christian view, even masturbation is prohibited. Phillip Roth has well described the dilemma of the religiously/sexually repressed young in Portnoy’s Complaint as “being torn between desires that are repugnant to my conscience and a conscience repugnant to my desires.” Thus the years of adolescence and young adulthood for many Christians are poisoned by “sinful” urges, unfulfilled longings, and intense guilt (after the urges become too much to bear and are acted upon).

Even after Christian young people receive a license from church and state to have sex, they often discover that the sexual release promised by marriage is not all that it’s cracked up to be. One gathers that in marriages between those who have followed Christian rules up until marriage—that is, no sex at all—sexual ineptitude and lack of fulfillment are all too common. Even when Christian married people do have good sexual relations, the problems do not end. Sexual attractions ebb and flow, and new attractions inevitably arise. In conventional Christian relationships, one is not allowed to act on these new attractions. One is often not even permitted to admit that such attractions exist. As Sten Linnander puts it, “with traditional [Christian] morality, you have to choose between being unfaithful to yourself or to another.”

The dilemma is even worse for gay teens and young people in that Christianity never offers them release from their unrequited urges. They are simply condemned to lifelong celibacy. If they indulge their natural desires, they become “sodomites” subject not only to Earthly persecution (due to Christian-inspired laws), but to being roasted alive forever in the pit. Given the internalized homophobia Christian teachings inspire, not to mention the very real discrimination gay people face, it’s not surprising that a great many homosexually oriented Christians choose to live a lie. In most cases, this leads to lifelong personal torture, but it can have even more tragic results.

A prime example is Marshall Applewhite, “John Do,” the guru of the Heaven’s Gate religious cult. Applewhite grew up in the South in a repressive Christian fundamentalist family. Horrified by his homosexual urges, he began to think of sexuality itself as evil, and eventually underwent castration to curb his sexual urges.(4) Several of his followers took his anti-sexual teachings to heart and likewise underwent castration before, at “Do’s” direction, killing themselves.

(a) Most married Christians I know seem to have [so far as I can tell and have been told] satisfying sex lives.

(b) The pamphleteer takes what he considers extreme or strict positions [that Christians of good conscience can disagree over] and then makes those positions emblematic of Christianity-at-large. Even if he could, so what? We have the non sequitur mentioned above, namely, what does this have to do with the historical, metaphysical, etc evidence for Christianity.

(c) Semantic equivocation is employed by the pamphleteer. Thinking homosexual behavior to be wrong is not "homophobia." Thinking action X is wrong does not make somebody an X-o-phobe.

(d) The thesis that homosexual behavior could be dangerous to one's long term prospects relative to the afterlife offends the pamphleteer. Why should, on a logical level, I accept the pamphleteer's standard? There are lots of things I personally would like to do but can't because scripture clearly states that they're wrong. Is this unfair? Should I go and report God to my local ACLU for violating my rights? Can I sue God for "holding me back" and make Him pay for my subsequent therapy bills?

(e) You have to admire the chutzpah of using the leader of a cult in a giant non-sequitur example that has nothing to do with the evidences for Christianity while keeping a straight face as if you're making an actual argument.


I've quickly gone in stream-o'-consciousness fashion through ten arguments asking if these reasons are actually good reasons for abandoning historic Christianity. [And I haven't addressed every point that the author tries to make, to be sure.] Do these arguments present evidence that various supernatural phenomena occurred, that the eyewitnesses to the events are not trustworthy, that scripture is reliable, etc? So far, none of these points has been addressed.

So far, the arguments against Christianity aren't really arguments, but mere inventories of what the pamphleteer doesn't like about various Christians: some are mean, some are authoritarian, some may have sexual hangups, some may feel more special than the non-Christian, some may be anti-intellectual, etc.

Well, in a shocking development, we know that various atheists and leftists are mean, authoritarian, possessing sexual hangups, evidencing a big head because they're the Champions of Reason [self-appointed of course], anti-intellectual, etc. The argument cuts both ways. Actually, the non-argument cuts both ways as well. The behaviors the pamphleteer doesn't like in some are surely manifested in some of those who would have the same worldview as the pamphleteer; you'd be just as silly to use those as arguments against the pamphleteer's worldview.

In all of these arguments the pamphleteer merely compares things with his own standard. The pamphleteer is the point of reference. Now this is fine if the pamphleteer can argue as to why his views are the optimal standard of comparison. All the pamphleteer has really succeeded in doing is pointing out that there are people who behave and think differently than him, and nobody really disputes that. But as far as arguing evidentially against the reliability of the scriptures and the supernatural phenomena that Christianity claims to have happened [not to mention the metaphysical assertions that Christianity entails], we have ten arguments so far that do not hold any water; we have ten leaky buckets.

Will the pamphleteer actually come up with something that functions as an actual argument in reasons 11-20 ? Stay tuned for the next exciting post here at Pedantic Protestant....same PP time....same PP channel.


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